I am a very lucky lady. I have a wonderful family, a fantastic husband and some truly fabulous girlfriends. They have been there with me through all the ups and downs in my life, and they are my support system. I am known as the ‘nice’ one in the group, and when I need that extra punch of fierceness to deal with difficult co workers or face a tough day with my students, I draw inspiration and strength from them. They rock.
The last couple of years, the ladies and I have had a Valentine’s Day get together called Galentine’s because honestly, we are each other’s soul mates. Almost all of us have a significant other, but we all recognize that it is vital to maintain our connection and make time for each other. As is usually the case with get togethers, I was charged with bringing dessert. And by “charged with” I mean “decided for the group and took over”.
We all love chocolate. We all love coffee. Therefore, I decided on:
Espresso Brownies! I layered the brownies with an amazing Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse recipe I found to make a parfait trifle kind of thing for the girls. The mousse recipe is super easy and insanely good AND you can find it here! However, the brownies are the heart of this dish, so we are going to focus on those babies today.
There are a lot of bits to this recipe so we will split them into dry ingredients and wet ingredients.
Dry stuff: flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, instant espresso, salt
Wet stuff: unsalted butter, sugar, eggs, cooled brewed coffee, vanilla and vegetable oil
Just a note before I dive into the actual process here. I decided to give Carmelita the day off. I know that I am a touch obsessed with her, so I went analog for this recipe. You can make these brownies without any kind of crazy contraption. If you have a stove, a whisk and a wooden spoon, you are good to go. 🙂
We whisk together all the dry ingredients. Just throw them in a bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. Set that bowl aside.
Next, we start on the “wet works” as Alton Brown says. Side note. Alton Brown is amazing. If you aren’t familiar, go to Netflix and watch his show Good Eats. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Right? So good! Ok. The wet works.
We are going to melt the butter and sugar together to create a crazy creamy base for our brownie batter. Go ahead and break your 2 sticks of butter into 4 equal pieces and pop them into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Stir continuously until the butter is melted but do not bring it to a boil. Once the butter is melted, add your granulated sugar. When you do this, the sugar, fat and water in the pan will all try to separate. It’ll be like an 8th grade dance in that saucepan. Everyone on opposite sides of the gym being super freaking awkward.
They are going to have to figure out how to deal with each other eventually. Whisk them together until the sugar and butter are completely incorporated and everything is smooth.
If you look closely at the photo on the left, you can see the white bubbles where the fat is trying to be all, “Oh, I can’t ask her to dance with me…that’s so embarrassing…”
After you whisk the butter and sugar together, they look more like the photo on the right where the ingredients are all,”Oh hey, I like this song, wanna dance?”
“Yeah, it’s like totally rad and stuff!”
Once your mixture looks like the one on the right, take it off heat immediately and pour it into a separate bowl.
To your sugar and butter mixture, add the vanilla and coffee, then all three eggs, then the vegetable oil.
Now, whisk all that business together until is is mixed completely and there are no hints of egg yolks.
You should now have one bowl of wet works and one bowl of dry stuffs.
Pour all the wet into all the dry and mix with your old school wooden spoon until all ingredients are well mixed and you really want to just skip the baking part and eat the batter with a spoon.
Pour it all into a lightly greased 9X13 baking dish and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
Now take pictures of your napping pets cause obviously that’s a thing that you can do during baking time. Here’s Junebug. She’s not happy with her mama right now.
Brownies are done!
They will smell and look amazing, but you HAVE to be patient. If you try and eat these right out of the oven, you will have the worst time trying to get them out of the pan AND they won’t hold their shape. They need time to set up. So. Wait.
Take more pictures of your pets. Read a book. Watch an episode of Doctor Who. Oh wait, YOU CAN’T because it’s not on Netflix or Hulu anymore!
I might have feelings about it. Don’t judge.
When the brownies are completely cooled, you may cut and enjoy!
Noms. These are so good, they practically melt in your mouth. You might not have to chew these brownies at all.
Nosh on, friends!
Yield: About 32 bite size squares Prep: 10-15 minutes Bake: 30 minutes
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp instant espresso
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp brewed coffee (cooled)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350°
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and espresso powder. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter but do not bring to a boil. Add sugar and whisk together until completely mixed. Pour this mixture into a medium bowl.
- To the sugar and butter mixture add vanilla, coffee, eggs, and vegetable oil. Whisk until completely combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed.
- Pour in a prepared 9X13 baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.